Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Morning In New Jersey

A simple idea becomes huge Highlands task

It started as a relatively simple premise. The state's Highlands Act was designed to save green spaces, protect North Jersey's water supply and natural habitats, and stop construction crews from developing the remaining forests and fields of Northwest Jersey.

Now comes the hard part: turning the concept into rules and regulations.

There are many skeptics. They believe the state is moving too quickly on an enormous project that will have long-term consequences. They are concerned about a potential loss of property values and a loss of home rule to a Highlands bureaucracy.

"They are stealing our property values to redirect development. That is criminal," said Hunterdon County farmer Hank Klumpp.

"I don't understand to this day how this is going to be administered," said Montville Township Committeeman Art Daughtry. "There is no money in the bank for this. How are they going to compensate landowners? This is going to end up in the courts for a long time."

Getting away with murder

Kill someone in Essex County and chances are you'll get away with it.

At least that was the outcome in 637 murders over a recent six- year period in the state's deadliest county, a Star-Ledger analysis has found.

From 1998 through 2003, fewer than half the murders in Essex County resulted in a conviction. And even when killers were convicted, only one in four received the legislatively mandated 30-year minimum, largely due to plea bargains, the analysis found.


In Montclair, size matters ... to the planning board

They're going after the post- and-beam version of super-size fries.

Mammoth residences going up in Montclair have planners reaching for the antacids and looking to rein in the size of what are often called McMansions, a case in point being the 10 large-scale houses going up at the site of the old Marlboro Inn.

But what Mellon hears, Christina Mayer sees -- up close. "They're huge," said Mayer, who lives across the street. "It's overwhelming, and I even live in a big house."

Just as mega-size residences are taking shape, though, Montclair's planners -- like those elsewhere in New Jersey -- are rolling out new land-use rules to throw at least some additional hurdles in the way of developers.

34-home proposal derided

A housing development plan that some residents fear will impinge on a historic village in the township is smaller than originally proposed, but still controversial.

The 34 homes now proposed for 2-acre lots is five fewer than a plan discussed earlier in the month by a lawyer for the developer. Robertson Douglas originally had sought to put 43 homes on the property.


Guilty plea: I sent women into slavery at Hudson clubs

A woman from Texas admitted, in court Friday, that she helped smuggle young women and girls from Honduras into this country, then forced them to work as prostitutes and dancers in bars in Union City and Guttenberg.

"Did you know what you were doing was wrong?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Gannett asked Friday.

Isuala-Meza paused, then said, "Well, at the end, yes, I realized that."


Trump sues, claiming he's undervalued

Donald Trump has filed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against the author and publisher of "TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald," claiming the book knowingly understated the celebrity businessman's wealth.

A lawyer for Trump filed a complaint in Superior Court in Camden on Monday accusing Timothy O'Brien, a New York Times business reporter, of damaging the real estate magnate's reputation. Time Warner Book Group and Warner Books Inc., which published the 288-page book in October, are named as co-defendants.

The lawsuit takes issue with O'Brien's use of three unnamed sources who said Trump "was not remotely close to being a billionaire," and put his net worth between $150 million and $250 million. Trump's suit suggests his fortune is closer to $2.7 billion.

16 Comments:

Blogger Metroplexual said...

Boy these articles really run the gamut. The Highlands article is just more of the same stuff that has been in the papers. The Director of the Highlands, Adam Zellner, is stepping down. He is going to work in Corzine's administration. So I think they may have trouble with that June deadline.

The Essex murder thing is scary. Must be Sharpe James behind it somehow.


People unhappy with development in NJ? Well gee haven't heard that one before. Isn't this developmet near the place where the martians landed?


Slavery in NJ again?

Trump is a weenie.

1/29/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grim

You missed the Daily Record article today
"No Fizzle to the Sizzle"

Why would the media lie to us?

Buy now before prices in Morris Cty go up 20% in 2006.

(Note: I am joking.)

CDF

1/29/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Quiet weekend so I figured I'd scan through the papers and post up anything remotely interesting.

I agree, the slavery one was a curveball. I was amazed that these things still went on really.

grim

1/29/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...

Every couple of years there is some article on slavery. Usually they areCentral Americans and sometimes Asian.

Although there was an article in the Village Voice a few years back on Russian slavery. The women come over here with the promise of good jobs and then are forced to be strippers(or worse) while they have family members threatened with murder. Really dispicable stuff.

1/29/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger grim said...

Would anyone care to offer up a prediction on the personal savings rate data to be released tomorrow morning?

grim

1/29/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

the personal savings rate will be .2% consumers saved more than they spent for once.

1/29/2006 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous NJ Sucks said...

grim said...
Would anyone care to offer up a prediction on the personal savings rate data to be released tomorrow morning?

grim

7:37 PM

=================================
I see a negative number here....

1/29/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger annamelbourne said...

"Mammoth residences going up in Montclair have planners reaching for the antacids and looking to rein in the size of what are often called McMansions, a case in point being the 10 large-scale houses going up at the site of the old Marlboro Inn."

These are a few blocks from my house. I walked by there today and struck up a conversation with another bystander, who was watching the construction. He is a retired builder. Neither of us could believe what we were seeing. These McMansions are extremely crowded together. The buyers' view will be their neighbors' windows and walls. There's no such thing as a yard for each of these homes.

The retired builder said they were priced in the $1.7 million range. $1.7M for a McMansion shoehorned among half a dozen others? You'd be staring at your neighbor's siding, you'd have no yard, and to top it off, you are on the corner of Grove and Watchung, two busy streets.

If these sell for $1.7M, I will have seen everything.

1/30/2006 03:55:00 PM  
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